Trade Show Recap: The International Surface Event 2018

This last week marked the occurrence of the International Surface Event (TISE) for 2018. Hosted at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, The International Surface Event is three world-class trade shows rolled into one, designed to give discerning vendors a one-stop shop to take in everything new when it comes to the floor-covering, stone and tile industries.

So who (and what) was at TISE 2018?

There were 800+ vendors spread out over the 2.1 million square-foot convention center. Some, like Schluter Systems, MAPEI Corporation, Daltile and Masland Carpets & Rugs, were brands that I’d known from doing previous work in the industry. Others were completely new to me, like Preverco and Anderson Tuftex.


But it’s not just the vendors that make the International Surface Event what it is — it’s the events and the education, too. There were events for everyone, including an international pavilion with displays from Canada, Italy, Portugal and even as far abroad as India and Turkey. If demos and design were more your thing, that was just as available. Sponsored by a number of TISE exhibitors, the DISH (Design and Installation Showcase Hub) was many people’s stop throughout the day to get “the dish” on what was new when it came to what’s what for products, design, installation and other trends.

The DISH was presented on three stages, each with its own theme: the Design stage, the Product Demonstration stage and the Installation stage. Events at the DISH included product demonstrations by Titebond and Bostik, a chat on modern revival trends with Scarlet Opus, and even a virtual design conversation with interior designer Christopher Grubb, president of Arch-Interiors Design Group, Inc.

Other demonstrations included new tool demos in Tool Alley, as well as demonstrations by the Stone Fabricators Alliance on the latest tools to seam-set, texture and polish natural stone products.

From the education side of things came everything from speakers to certifications to on-the-floor training and webinars. 70+ speakers presented across the four-day event, including Jim Whitfield, Technical Services Manager for MAPEI Corporation and Noah Chitty, Director of Technical Services for Crossville. Available certifications included a moisture testing certification program hosted by the International Concrete Repair Institute, a natural fiber installation workshop, and a certified inspector course from the North American Laminate Flooring Association.

On-the-floor education ranged across a number of topics, including a session dedicated to teaching designers how to work with natural stone, insight into four years of kitchen and bath trends and an analysis of installation case studies to help vendors determine and ensure proper installation protocol.

Webinars included examinations of the different design and color trends emerging in the industry, a talk about what social media can do for your business, an introductory course on natural stone, and many others.

And now a word from the sponsors…

As a testament to how large the event was, there were around 50 different sponsors and media partners for the International Surfaces Event, including Marmo+Mac, Houzz, Architonic and Architects Newspaper.

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